Tag Archives: UX

Why Design Thinking Matters

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Design thinking at work

Design thinking isn’t just about the visual outcome of a product. Rather, it’s a method of creatively and practically solving problems that keeps the user top of mind. Understanding the user’s wants and needs allows us to make more accurate decisions during the inspiration, production, and iteration phases of building a product. The outcome, hopefully, is intuitive products and services that actually improve users’ lives.

I spoke with Maya Weinstein, Sr. Designer at IBM Watson, about her thoughts on the design thinking method.

In your own words, what is IBM design thinking?

Design thinking has existed in some form for the past 20 years. What makes IBM Design Thinking unique is scale. IBM is a massive company and this is the first time design thinking is being implemented at a company of this size with this degree of training. We have an entire division, the IBM Design Education, whose sole focus is to train the entirety of IBM on the practice of Design Thinking. By training engineers, product managers, marketers, and executives on how to think like a designer, we are able to bring design thinking to a mass corporate level. This is design thinking in a company at scale.

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The Trick to Great UX: Understanding Your True Customer Journey

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A vital part of creating a great user experience (UX) is thinking about what we call the “customer journey.” The customer journey is exactly what it sounds like: the journey your customer makes. For instance, if your product is a toothbrush, you would typically look at the customer journey as buying and using the toothbrush. You then design the experience to match up perfectly with that journey, solving each problem along the way, and the end result feels like magic!

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From Electronic DJ to Systems Architect for NASA: How One Alum is Crafting Her Dream Career

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General Assembly alumni Jade
Jade Johnson is a recent grad of User Experience Design Immersive at General Assembly’s Los Angeles campus, where she met “a crew of like-minded thinkers.” After graduating from GA, she briefly worked for NASA as a systems architect. Now, she is living in Berlin and pursuing her career in UX Design. Jade’s love for user experience has helped her build a rewarding career around her artist lifestyle.
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Students Help Beer App Barly Find a Smooth Finish

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Craft beer rating app, Barly, recently released new features that shift the focus from simple ratings to smart recommendations that learn your taste in beer over time. The founding team at Barly started as a group of musicians who appreciate a frosty beverage, but after one fateful round of drinks, they realized that most beer menus are hard to decipher for the casual beer drinker. Nick Norton, Craig Vermeyen, Mike Weil, and Hunter Knight moved quickly to create an app, sourcing expertise to get their idea off the ground, including help from UXDI students at General Assembly’s Los Angeles campus.

Students in the User Experience Design Immersive work on client projects as part of the curriculum to gain real world experience using their new skills. Aaron Barnes, Samantha Burke, and Ken Sugai were assigned to work with the app.

For Barly CEO Nick Norton, it was an easy decision to go with the students at General Assembly. “They were great. Sam, Aaron, and Ken put in so much work over a short period, and were clearly excited to be working on this project,” he said.

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CEO as Chief Experience Officer

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In today’s changing business landscape, user experience (UX) is quickly becoming a key differentiator allowing brands to cut through the noise and create a unique value proposition for their customers. It makes sense; what could be more valuable to a customer than having a great experience?

Within major corporations, if addressed at all, UX has traditionally been siloed within product and design teams instead of being treated as a company-wide initiative. UX is vital not only for product teams, but also for marketing, sales, customer service, and even HR. (Employees are users too–EX as we call it at GA!)

When examining some of the standout brands that have adopted a more holistic strategy around user experience, the results are strikingly clear. Almost every one of today’s most valuable companies is run by a CEO who puts user experience first–Chief Experience Officers. Let’s look at a few examples:

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5 Reasons You Should Become a UX Designer

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whyux-blog-picjumboEvery day, more CEOs and business leaders are realizing the importance of a product’s design and user experience. UX is no longer an ambiguous acronym or secondary business concern, but a key piece of a product’s success. With so many useful apps and products on the market, companies can no longer risk having a poor user experience or uninspiring design. Users demand great experiences, and it’s user experience designers who help products meet these high expectations.

User experience designers are positioned for success in today’s job market. They get to work in a growing and intellectually stimulating field, playing a key part in shaping a product’s success across a variety of industries — from finance to education to to e-commerce and more. Read below to explore why UX design may just be the perfect career for you.

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From Corporate to Creative: How One UX Specialist Designed Her Future

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Two years after completing her transition from Big 4 accountant to UX designer, GA alumni Anindita Saha is fully immersed in the wide world of UX and the Hong Kong tech and startup community.

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What’s a Wireframe? Get Behind the Buzz.

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Capitalizing on Errors: The Best 404 Pages on the Web

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While the 404 page signifies error, it doesn’t have to kill the mood. The design of a 404 page is an important piece of the user experience puzzle, but often overlooked in the creation process. To avoid the frustration of a user hitting this roadblock, there are a few key things you can do to promote an engaging and branded experience:

  • Identify the issue
  • Speak clearly
  • Include popular links or a search bar for a way out
  • Make contact information visible
  • Make it fun!

Here are 10 entertaining 404 pages worth breaking a url for:

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How to Find a UX Design Job: Chapter 2

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Rain is a GA UX Design Immersive graduate, full time UX designer, and fan of good clean designs. Her background is in architecture and product design. In her spare time she is either at the gym or coming up with new app ideas. In this blog she tells her story of finding a job and her insights to the London UX field. You can read her first chapter here.

So now everything is in place and order, you put yourself out there and have the basics to get people interested. What’s next?

Setting expectations: I went into the job market knowing UX is a booming market with huge demand and very little supply. My expectations were sky high. I expected high volume phone calls and interviews and thought I would find a job within 2-3 weeks. So let’s bring it back to reality a little. Yes, there is demand, and yes, there is short supply but also, I had very little real life experience and most companies simply don’t have the time to teach you.

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